2009 was a strange time. Do you remember it? It was weird, man, living through the 2000’s. At the time we were all looking back on the previous decades thinking how weirdly everyone used to dress. How there was a defined ‘70’s look’; a stereotypical ‘80’s look’; an iconic ‘90’s look’—but that here we were, finally having reached fashion nirvana, a neutral place that would remain stable and unchanging, and that we’d never look back and think, ‘Damn, why did we dress like that?’ It was like Francis Fukuyama’s ideological ‘end of history’, but with fashion: Communism had been vanquished, capitalism had won, there would be no more crises; similarly fashion had peaked, and we would never change the way we dressed. But then the financial crash happened, and we can also look back with hindsight at this:
We can all admit it now. It’s okay. It was a weird time.
Then, just as the totally weird and aberrant 2000’s were about to tick over into the definitely normal and never to be ridiculed 2010’s, James Cameron released a movie. Avatar. The 2000’s began with Next Friday—an entirely unnecessary sequel to F. Gary Gray’s classic Friday—and they ended with James Cameron’s Avatar (or, more accurately, Haneke’s The White Ribbon, which came out on the 30th December to Avatar’s 18th. Next Friday to The White Ribbon. What an incredible set of bookends). Avatar, that boring, overlong, shallow, derivative, stupid but intermittently visually impressive tech demo masquerading as a movie which hoovered up literally all of the money in the world.
Seriously, it made so much money. $2,787,965,087 to be precise. That’s mad. It’s still the highest grossing movie by a considerable margin. Even adjusted for inflation it comes second place only to the madness that is Gone With The Wind’s $3,703,000,000. We all went to see Avatar. We all put on those stupid glasses and sat there until your arses went numb, watching Sam Wonrthingzzzzzz—…
Sorry where was I?
Bloody Pandora. Unobtainium. Ponytail orgies? We all went nuts for that shit. So obviously it was likely that there would be a sequel or two made. Or, as Tori reported just over a year ago, four. That’s right, four Avatar sequels. Why? Who knows. But they’re happening. If ever that might’ve felt like a fever dream or a Cameron ego rocket doomed to crash land then here is the man himself to dispel that notion:
James Cameron took a (very rare) break from filming on the performance capture stage to record a message to Avatar fans!— Avatar (@officialavatar) November 13, 2018
Watch for a progress update on the sequels and a brand new trailer for his long-time passion project, Alita: Battle Angel. #AvatarFamily @AlitaMovie pic.twitter.com/Vz6bqp73DA
Boom. Look at that. A space-bound silver egojet powered by its own sense of self-satisfaction.
As per Deadline:
In a video message, the director of the two highest-grossing films of all time (Avatar and Titanic) praised the ensemble of actors who have been filming Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 since September 2017.
“Hi, James Cameron here and today I’m coming to you from the set of the Avatar sequels — and behind me you can see our performance-capture stage. Today we’re capturing some stunt scenes filming some stunt scenes but our principal cast are all wrapped: Sam [Worthington], Zoe [Saldana], Sigourney [Weaver], Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet.”
The Oscar-winning filmmaker added: “They’re done now but they gave us incredible performances. And I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work that they did on these films.”
Avatar 2 is due in theaters on December 18, 2020, and will be followed by Avatar 3 on December 17, 2021. Two additional sequels are planned after that if the first pair deliver the kind of box-office success that Fox and Cameron are expecting.
Yes indeed. The actors have finished jumping and emoting amongst a sea of green. Strap yourselves in, folks. We may be heading into climate collapse and a ruined world, but Pandora will look great.
Header Image Source: Getty Images